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Math education in this country does a disservice to our [#permalink]

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18 Feb 2006, 14:12

00:00

A

B

C

D

E

Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

78% (02:24) correct
22% (01:20) wrong based on 29 sessions

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Math education in this country does a disservice to our children. In the lower grades, it should focus on the basic skills that students will need in higher grades to develop the ability to solve complex problems. Learning basic math skills is like learning the scales and chords that one will later use to master complicated concertos and symphonies. However, math educators in this country seem to have it backward, emphasizing in higher grades the same narrow, skills-based approach that students learned in lower grades rather than the analytical tools they will need to solve complex math problems.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn above?

a While music is common in elementary school curriculums, it is rarely taught in high school.
b On international tests of math skills, high-school students in this country performed no worse than did their counterparts from countries where problem-solving is emphasized in higher grades.
c When presented with a math problem to solve, students in higher grades are more likely to arrive at different answers than students in lowers grades are.
d Older students tend to receive higher grades in math than do younger students.
e Universities in this country report a steady increase in the percentage of native first-year students who qualify to take advanced mathematics courses such as calculus.

Conclusion is approximately "Higher-grade math teaches same skills as lower-grade math."

A is out; passage is not about music.
D is out; passage is about math curriculum, not math grades.
C is out; implies older students are answering the same problems the younger ones are; we're looking for something related to upper-level math.
B is out; implies older students can perform lower-level math skills well, author is discussing upper-level skills.

I choose E because calculus is traditionally a college-level course and generally is only performed by students with a strong mathematical background. Hence, if E is true, the fact that more students are taking upper-level math courses weakens the claim that they aren't learning new math skills.

Conclusion is approximately "Higher-grade math teaches same skills as lower-grade math."

A is out; passage is not about music. D is out; passage is about math curriculum, not math grades. C is out; implies older students are answering the same problems the younger ones are; we're looking for something related to upper-level math. B is out; implies older students can perform lower-level math skills well, author is discussing upper-level skills.

I choose E because calculus is traditionally a college-level course and generally is only performed by students with a strong mathematical background. Hence, if E is true, the fact that more students are taking upper-level math courses weakens the claim that they aren't learning new math skills.

Conclusion is approximately "Higher-grade math teaches same skills as lower-grade math."

A is out; passage is not about music. D is out; passage is about math curriculum, not math grades. C is out; implies older students are answering the same problems the younger ones are; we're looking for something related to upper-level math. B is out; implies older students can perform lower-level math skills well, author is discussing upper-level skills.

I choose E because calculus is traditionally a college-level course and generally is only performed by students with a strong mathematical background. Hence, if E is true, the fact that more students are taking upper-level math courses weakens the claim that they aren't learning new math skills.

Zoelef you are right ... OA is E

Zoelef,

How can we assume that calculus is a college level course. Don't you think it is out of scope here.

University "qualifies" students for calculus courses. I agree that the question in vague since international students learn calculus in high school and you need to have the knowledge to pick E.

But B can be eliminated pretty easily since it neither strengthens nor weakens.

gmat_crack wrote:

cool_jonny009 wrote:

Zoelef wrote:

Hello, all.

Conclusion is approximately "Higher-grade math teaches same skills as lower-grade math."

A is out; passage is not about music. D is out; passage is about math curriculum, not math grades. C is out; implies older students are answering the same problems the younger ones are; we're looking for something related to upper-level math. B is out; implies older students can perform lower-level math skills well, author is discussing upper-level skills.

I choose E because calculus is traditionally a college-level course and generally is only performed by students with a strong mathematical background. Hence, if E is true, the fact that more students are taking upper-level math courses weakens the claim that they aren't learning new math skills.

Zoelef you are right ... OA is E

Zoelef,

How can we assume that calculus is a college level course. Don't you think it is out of scope here.

I agree that E gives a good reason but the point here is about the high school childre not the first yr college students. It's a Empty Shell fallacy. So, opted for B. _________________

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